6/1/2013 4:46 P.M. ET
Struggling Mathis catches another young hurler
By Joe Morgan and Joe Frisaro / MLB.com
MIAMI -- Catcher Jeff Mathis was in the Marlins' lineup for a second straight day to work with rookie right-hander Jose Fernandez on Saturday. Mathis caught right-hander Jacob Turner in Friday night's 5-1 victory.
Turner pitched seven scoreless innings with Mathis behind the plate.
"I like him catching a couple of our younger guys," manager Mike Redmond said. "It's more comforting, I think, for our younger pitchers. Not that [Rob] Brantly can't do it.
"Over the course of my years, I think a veteran catcher with a young pitcher, especially a guy who can tend to get a little excited out there, I think it's a nice, calming influence. I like that right now for Fernandez."
Mathis made his season debut on May 16 against the Reds after suffering a broken right clavicle during Spring Training. He was hit by a foul tip during the Marlins' Grapefruit League opener against the Cardinals on March 23 in Jupiter, Fla.
The 30-year-old has slumped at the plate since his return, notching only one base hit in 22 at-bats entering Saturday.
In Friday's win against the Mets, Mathis came up short with the bases loaded in the sixth, grounding into an inning-ending double play.
He managed to redeem himself one inning later, plating Marcell Ozuna from third with a sacrifice fly for Miami's second run in a four-run seventh.
"We need to get this guy in some games. We need to get him some at-bats," Redmond said. "I've seen this guy hit. I know he can produce.
"I know you look at his numbers over his career and you say, 'Oh, well, this guy's a whatever hitter.' But I've played against him and I know he can hit. I know he's got some power, but we'll never see it if we don't get him some games."
While Redmond wants to get Mathis more involved, he said not to expect any changes to the everyday lineup.
"Brantly's still our catcher," Redmond said. "Brantly's still going to do the majority of the catching, but I want to get [Mathis] going a little bit, too."
Stanton's progress encourages Redmond
MIAMI -- Marlins manager Mike Redmond continues to be encouraged by Giancarlo Stanton's progress. Redmond threw batting practice to the injured right fielder (right hamstring strain) before Saturday's game.
"He looked good," Redmond said. "He's getting close as well, which is exciting. Two days ago, I wasn't as excited, just wasn't sure where he was at. But he's pushing himself and he wants to play and he wants to be a part of this team.
"He's doing everything he can, and when he says he's ready to go up there and start getting some at-bats in Jupiter, [Fla.], then he's going to go up there and do that. I'm not sure what the timeframe is, but I know it's getting close."
Redmond was worried Thursday about Stanton, who complained of knee soreness after beginning light running. However, Stanton has pushed through the pain, continuing his regimen of light running, batting practice and playing catch.
Stanton is expected to begin shagging fly balls soon.
Hall of Famer Dawson offers tips to young Marlins
MIAMI -- With such a young team, a number of Miami players are getting on-the-job training.
They're also getting some advice from a couple of all-time greats.
Hall of Famers Andre Dawson and Tony Perez are special assistants in the Marlins' organization who work with the players on occasion.
During the series with the Mets, Dawson was on the field offering pointers before batting practice.
The Marlins are going through a rough stretch, and Dawson notes that patience is needed in developing young talent.
"Growing pains are always tough," Dawson said. "What you really try to do at this level is try to minimize your mistakes -- to not be intimidated, to be comfortable and to relax and have fun. To learn from your mistakes and don't repeat your mistakes and to learn and get your feet under you."
In recent days, Dawson offered instruction to Jordan Brown and Ed Lucas, two players who opened the season at Triple-A New Orleans.
"It's a process, obviously," Dawson said. "It involves a lot of one-on-one, a lot of patience, a lot of nurturing. It is what it is until everything falls into place the way you want it to."
Redmond teases Marisnick on two-slam game
MIAMI -- Double-A Jacksonville's Jake Marisnick hit two grand slams and tallied nine RBIs Thursday night, prompting Marlins manager Mike Redmond to tease the outfielder via text message.
Redmond managed Marisnick at Class A Dunedin as part of the Blue Jays organization last season.
"I said, 'Was the wind blowing out 30 mph or what?'" Redmond said, laughing. "I gave him a bad time. He wouldn't know what to do if I actually really complimented him."
Marisnick has rebounded well since recovering from a broken bone in his left hand he suffered in a Spring Training game against the Cardinals on March 6.
He leads the Suns with seven stolen bases, ranks third with 24 RBIs, and his six home runs are tied with Christian Yelich for the second-best mark on the team entering Saturday.
"He seems to be feeling better and getting more and more confidence, and that's good," Redmond said. "The biggest question for him was just the consistency with the bat."
Joe Morgan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.